7.2 Vengeance Survival Guide

Vengeance Changes

  • Demonic Wards   Your tattoos reduce all damage taken by 20%, up from 10%, and increase your Stamina by 55% and your Armor by 75%, down from 120%. The end result of this change to our tanking passive means we’ll have same amount of physical damage reduction, and about 10% more magical damage reduction. This should help us with all that magic damage in Nighthold.
  • All tanks now get 0.65% damage increase per artifact point spent.
  • Player Taunts now increase all threat caused against the target by 400% (was 200%). Should be easier to grab threat and hold it after a taunt, even if your cotank has better legendaries than you.
  • All tanks no longer have a 10% damage decrease in PvP.

Artifact traits

At 35 points and after a questline you get after starting the Broken Shore, you unlock the 4th trait on older 3-rank traits and the new traits. The order to unlock new traits should be something like (with some variation depending on whether you focus on raids or mythics or personal preference):

Trait Unlock Order
Illidari Durability -> Lingering Ordeal -> Erupting Souls -> Flaming Soul -> Fiery Demise -> Embrace the Pain  -> Devour Souls -> Aura of Pain (and onward to the less interesting 4/4 traits)
  • New traits unlocked in this order:
  • Illidari Durability (1 rank) Increases damage by 10%, Armor by 20%, and Stamina by 10%. Standard compensation we get for “losing” our former paragon traits.
  • Lingering Ordeal (4 ranks) Increases the duration of Metamorphosis by 0.5/1.0/1.5/2.0 sec.
  • Erupting Souls (1 rank) Soul Cleave deals (100% of Attack power) additional damage for each Soul Fragment it consumes. This trait gives a nice little damage boost for consuming Fragments, giving you at least a dps reason to spend them all at 5 stacks.
  • Flaming Soul (1 rank) Damage from Soul Carver and Immolation Aura extends the duration of your Fiery Brand by 0.5 seconds. Fiery Brand followed by Soul Carver and Immolation Aura is standard for our dps rotation, and now it will increase our defense too!
  • At 51 traits, you unlock the paragon trait, Concordance of the Legionfall.

Legendaries

  • Bad luck protection based on spec, so if you main vengeance, getting a havoc legendary will be more likely and won’t hurt your chances at getting another vengeance legendary.
  • New BoE legendary crafted by Leatherworkers The Sentinel’s Eternal RefugeIf you don’t have many legendaries, this is a solid choice. Not the strongest, but if you primarily do solo content it’s just fine.
  • Sephuz’s Secret: Now always grants 10% increased movement speed and 2% Haste. When triggered, this bonus is increased to the current values of 70% movement speed and 25% Haste. Movement speed bonuses now stack with other movement speed bonuses. Makes Sephuz’s an even more solid choice for mythic dungeons, especially if you’re like me and frequently forget to CC enough to activate it. If you don’t have many legendaries, the passives make it at least passable in raids even if there’s nothing to CC/interrupt.
  • The Defiler’s Lost Vambraces: Now has an additional 539 Avoidance (@ ilvl 940) as a bonus tertiary stat. As is the theme, the extra stats doesn’t make this legendary amazing, but if this is the one you have, it at least gives you a benefit in situations where you might not need many sigils.

Vengeance Aesthetics

Artifact Skin

Once you unlock your empowered artifact weapon, you’ll become eligible for the solo artifact skin. You can access it via the Mage Tower (if it’s up) on the Broken Shore. Find more info on Wowhead’s guide. Here’s what they look like (pictures from Wowhead):

Class Mount

This won’t unlock for another 11 weeks, after you complete the Legionfall campaign. You can read about the questline here.

picture from wowhead

Once you unlock the mount and all traits on one of your artifact weapons, you can purchase the toy A Tiny Set of Warglaives, which puts a demon hunter Pepe on your head.

Transmog

Tier sets will be cataloged in the UI, along with accompanying achievements for collecting the whole set. (more info)

T20 pvp recolors available via battlegrounds/arena strongboxes.

T19 pvp recolors available for Mark of Honor purchase in Dalaran (Broken Isles) from Lieutenant Surtees and Apothecary Lee.

Generic Content

Dungeons

  • Cathedral of Eternal Night — Brand new 5 man! Available after a short questline, in heroic, mythic, and mythic+.
  • New mythic+s: Lower Karazhan, Upper Karazhan, and Cathedral of Eternal Night
  • Difficulty increased, max item level gear increased  (details)
  • Longer mythic+ dungeons (e.g. Arcway, Halls of Valor) reward proportionally more artifact power than shorter dungeons (e.g. Maw of Souls).
  • Changes to affixes:
    • Bolstering reduced to 30 yards (was 45 yards). The intent of this change is to allow more opportunities for crowd control.
    • Necrotic will now expire after leaving combat. Duration reduced by 1 second. (This has been in the game, but it was hotfixed so you might have missed it.)
    • Tyrannical damage bonus has been lowered to 15% (was 20%).
    • Fortified damage bonus lowered to 30% (was 40%).
    • Skittish threat reduction has been lowered to 75% (was 80%). This is a bigger buff than it seems, so skittish should be a bit easier on your less offensive tanks.
    • Sanguine radius increased to 8 yards.
  • New affixes:
    • Quaking: Periodically, players will “Quake”, inflicting damage equal to 20% of the player’s maximum health pool and interrupting spell casts of themselves and nearby allies. This will probably require spreading out and being prepared for interrupted healers.
    • Bursting: When slain, non-boss enemies explode, causing all players to suffer 10% of their max health in damage over 4 sec. This effect stacks. You’ll want to limit killing trash all at the same time.
    • Explosive: While in combat, enemies periodically summon Explosive Orbs that will detonate if not destroyed. This will require quick target switching, so be prepared to drag mobs to new orbs.
    • Grievous: When injured below 90% health, players will suffer increasing damage over time until healed above 90% health. Tanks will have to try extra hard to keep their health high, either with extra self healing or extra preventative damage reduction.

Solo content

7.2 Brewmaster Survival Guide

Brewmaster Changes

Not many balance changes to brewmasters.

  • All tanks now get 0.65% damage increase per artifact point spent.
  • Player Taunts now increase all threat caused against the target by 400% (was 200%). Should be easier to grab threat and hold it after a taunt, even if your cotank has better legendaries than you.
  • All tanks no longer have a 10% damage decrease in PvP.

Artifact traits

At 35 points and after a questline you get after starting the Broken Shore, you unlock the 4th trait on older 3-rank traits and the new traits. The order to unlock new traits should be something like (with some variation depending on whether you focus on raids or mythics or personal preference):

Trait Unlock Order
Endurance of the Broken Temple -> Draught of Darkness -> Stave Off -> Quick Sip -> Hot Blooded -> Face Palm -> Overflow -> Potent Kick (and onward to the less interesting 4/4 traits)

The new traits unlocked in this order:

  • Endurance of the Broken Temple (1 rank) Increases damage by 10%, Armor by 35%, and Stamina by 10%. Standard compensation we get for “losing” our former paragon traits.
  • Draught of Darkness (4 ranks) Increases the damage of Blackout Strike by 5/10/15/20%. Pronounced “draft” for reasons. Clear damage boost, Blackout Strike still #2 in our single target dps rotation, same as before.
  • Stave Off (1 rank) Keg Smash has a 20% chance to trigger another Keg Smash. Both damage and defense boost. When Keg Smash procs, use it. It procs from Keg Smash itself, so it shouldn’t change your rotation too much, just Keg Smash x2 then continue onward into Blackout Kick and the rest.
  • Quick Sip (1 rank) Drinking Purifying Brew grants Ironskin Brew for 1 sec. Drinking Ironskin Brew purifies 5% of your Staggered damage. This is one I’m looking forward to playing with a while before I really understand the subtleties. On the surface level, it’s clear that both brews will continue to play into each other, such that purifying while taking lots of damage is especially valuable, and Ironskin while staggering will be more potent.
  • At 51 traits, you unlock the paragon trait, Concordance of the Legionfall, which grants a versatility proc.

Legendaries

  • Bad luck protection based on spec, so if you main brewmaster, getting a windwalker legendary will be more likely and won’t hurt your chances at getting another brewmaster legendary.
  • New BoE legendary crafted by Leatherworkers The Sentinel’s Eternal RefugeIf you don’t have many legendaries, this is a solid choice. Not the strongest, but if you primarily do solo content it’s just fine.
  • Sephuz’s Secret: Now always grants 10% increased movement speed and 2% Haste. When triggered, this bonus is increased to the current values of 70% movement speed and 25% Haste. Movement speed bonuses now stack with other movement speed bonuses. Makes Sephuz’s an even more solid choice for mythic dungeons, especially if you’re like me and frequently forget to CC enough to activate it. If you don’t have many legendaries, the passives make it at least passable in raids even if there’s nothing to CC/interrupt.
  • If you have either Cinidaria, the Symbiote or Gai Plin’s Soothing Sash, your odds of getting the other belt are significantly reduced. I’m not a fan of this change (mainly because I already have Cindaria, and I want Gai Plin’s), but the goal is clear: you won’t have to worry about getting two legendary belts.

Brewmaster Aesthetics

Artifact Skin

Once you unlock your empowered artifact weapon, you’ll become eligible for the solo artifact skin. You can access it via the Mage Tower (if it’s up) on the Broken Shore. Find more info on Wowhead’s guide. Here’s what they look like (pictures from Wowhead):

Class Mount

This won’t unlock for another 11 weeks, after you complete the Legionfall campaign. You can read about the questline here

picture from wowhead

Once you unlock the mount and all traits on one of your artifact weapons, you can purchase the pet Ban-Fu.

Transmog

Tier sets will be cataloged in the UI, along with accompanying achievements for collecting the whole set. (more info)

T20 pvp recolors available via battlegrounds/arena strongboxes.

T19 pvp recolors available for Mark of Honor purchase in Dalaran (Broken Isles) from Lieutenant Surtees and Apothecary Lee.

Generic Content

Dungeons

  • Cathedral of Eternal Night — Brand new 5 man! Available after a short questline, in heroic, mythic, and mythic+.
  • New mythic+s: Lower Karazhan, Upper Karazhan, and Cathedral of Eternal Night
  • Difficulty increased, max item level gear increased  (details)
  • Longer mythic+ dungeons (e.g. Arcway, Halls of Valor) reward proportionally more artifact power than shorter dungeons (e.g. Maw of Souls).
  • Changes to affixes:
    • Bolstering reduced to 30 yards (was 45 yards). The intent of this change is to allow more opportunities for crowd control.
    • Necrotic will now expire after leaving combat. Duration reduced by 1 second. (This has been in the game, but it was hotfixed so you might have missed it.)
    • Tyrannical damage bonus has been lowered to 15% (was 20%).
    • Fortified damage bonus lowered to 30% (was 40%).
    • Skittish threat reduction has been lowered to 75% (was 80%). This is a bigger buff than it seems, so skittish should be a bit easier on your less offensive tanks.
    • Sanguine radius increased to 8 yards.
  • New affixes:
    • Quaking: Periodically, players will “Quake”, inflicting damage equal to 20% of the player’s maximum health pool and interrupting spell casts of themselves and nearby allies. This will probably require spreading out and being prepared for interrupted healers.
    • Bursting: When slain, non-boss enemies explode, causing all players to suffer 10% of their max health in damage over 4 sec. This effect stacks. You’ll want to limit killing trash all at the same time.
    • Explosive: While in combat, enemies periodically summon Explosive Orbs that will detonate if not destroyed. This will require quick target switching, so be prepared to drag mobs to new orbs.
    • Grievous: When injured below 90% health, players will suffer increasing damage over time until healed above 90% health. Tanks will have to try extra hard to keep their health high, either with extra self healing or extra preventative damage reduction.

Solo content

Six Year Blogoversary!

Wow, I’ve been doing this a long time. The big events this year were Legion beta, Legion release, and all the new raids and guides that come with that. It’s been a big year for this site. I’m particularly proud of how far my guides have come. My raid guides have more polish, my class guides are more streamlined. I’m happy with the microblog series, giving me an opportunity to blog without the overhead of a polished opinion. Where this time last year I was feeling like I was failing the blog, now it feels like it’s thriving!

Year 6 in Review

Complained about talent tomes (while on vacation in Maui, even)

On Talent Restrictions, Social Friction, and Cookie Cutter Builds

Wrote my very first dungeon guide.

Quick Start Legion Dungeon Tanking Guide

Finally decided to stop covering my least favorite topic.

A Sunnier Musing: Stat Apathy

Committed to playing both Brewmaster and Vengeance.

What will I be playing in Legion?

Wrote a bunch of raid guides: Emerald Nightmare, Trial of Valor

Trial of Valor Tanking Guide

Wrote a thing about the state of Brewmasters that got linked on reddit and tripled my web traffic for a few days.

Legion Brewmaster Retrospective (so far)

Started my microblog series! Words Without Conclusions, Actually Terrible, Time Management, Talents as Identity, Talent Experimentation, Stagger is a Hell of a Drug, Monetization, Underdog, Un-Identity Talents, Talent Choice Equation, Character Inspiration, Skill

Microblog: Words Without Conclusions

Struggled with learning how to play a new class.

Thoughts on My Own Learning

My Experience with Vengeance and Gul’dan

And finally, started documenting my highest priorities.

New Transmog Pages

Microblog: Skill

The other day I was playing a console game and struggling with a boss fight. I’d been working on it for many attempts and failing miserably to get the boss anywhere close to dead.

After tolerating a half hour of raging, my boyfriend borrowed my controller and, after having never played this game, killed the boss in one try.

Now, he did have my coaching. Here’s what these buttons do, this boss is weak to fire, don’t forget to craft some potions, etc. But mostly he did it on his own, using his years of console experience to expertly control a character he’s never played before.

This made me think of video game skill, and how the difference between an expert and beginner is often hard to teach, and this extends to WoW. My boyfriend didn’t kill that boss because he knew the special mechanics of that game, he did it because he’s played hundreds of hours of similar console games and he understands console mechanics on a fundamental level, whereas I do not.

Later in the same day, I was coaching a friend of mine through Nighthold on our weekly casual run. While she’s leveled in WoW plenty of times, she’s new to raiding. I gave her the best instructions I could, trying to limit it to three or fewer mechanics she needed to know just to survive, but she still died a lot. Things that take no explanation for me, like “if my health drops, move” or “follow the raid” don’t come naturally to her (yet).

What WoW is to my friend, console games are to me. I still don’t intuitively know how to move my character or camera around, or how to watch boss movement patterns for opportunities to melee. And what WoW is to me, console games are to my boyfriend, who keeps instructing me to do things I don’t quite understand, like “hit R1”.

That’s kind of a bummer, since I’ll never play enough console games to get “good” at them, but it also means that I will at least get better as I play more. Neither of these things are an inherit skill, at least not completely, so they can be learned. A lot of the learning I did for WoW many years ago has been forgotten, though I still have vague memories of struggling with things that don’t even register now.

Microblog: Character Inspiration

Lazier, the demon hunter

badass old lady | stoic loner | animal lover | lost her peaceful forest sanctuary to the legion and vowed revenge

Sunnier, the monk

peaceful | positive | wants to have a good time | hates violence, but fights to protect her home | part-time farmer | the war and destruction that wrecked havoc on Pandaria haunts her

New Transmog Pages

When Nighthold came out and I realized I was missing several pieces that only dropped in Emerald Nightmare, I decided to compile a list of where I can get all the monk and dh tier 19 models so that I know exactly what to spend my bonus roll tokens on.

Also, with the new Armor 2.0 models that don’t always display well on Wowhead (with all the cool knickknacks on the boots and gloves), I wanted to take my own pictures to remind me how pretty they are.

There’s also going to be the new Transmog Sets UI coming in 7.2, so I wanted to get ahead of the game and track them before Blizzard does.

So I wrote up some pages on the class guides with Tier 19 models. Eventually I’ll expand it to include all transmog this expansion, including lookalikes and questing gear.

Monk

Demon Hunter

Microblog: Talent Choice Equation

Long time readers might be familiar with how I chose talent recommendations, and might know that it’s a little different than most guides out there. I think what surprises most is that I don’t rely on sims. They’re a part of the equation, but not the last word. I value many other things when it comes to talents.

In no particular order:

  • Utility
  • Ease of use
  • Generality
  • Personal preference
  • Popularity
  • Variety
  • Sims & Logs

That’s just for recommendations in my guide. When making actual talent choices in game, there’s an important #1 addition: fight mechanics.

Utility

Talents are more than just the damage / healing / damage reduction benefits, there’s always something more. As tanks, we are especially well served by being able to trade objective benefits for subjective ones.

Ease of Use

We are not computers, so in contrast to sims, anything that doesn’t demand extra attention gains some points from me. Just having a talent that doesn’t serve as an extra distraction while learning a fight is a powerful thing, even if that talent might not be the final choice when you kill the boss.

Example: Light Brewing, Agonizing Flames

Generality

Some talents are really strong in niche situations, and others are just modestly strong in all situations. In a guide, since I have no way of knowing what content you’re trying to tackle, I’m going to lean toward recommending general talents.

Example: Healing Elixirs, Feast of Souls

Personal Preference

I don’t know what other people like, but there are a few talents I’m just fond of. I can’t completely separate my own biases from this blog, nor do I really want to.

Example: Felblade, Chi Torpedo

Popularity

Keeping in mind my own bias, sometimes I’ll adjust my talent recommendations based on what the community as a whole prefers, even if it’s not my favorite thing. Just because I don’t like a talent doesn’t mean it’s a bad recommendation for others.

Example: Last Resort, Blackout Combo

Variety

Sometimes I recommend talents because I love finding uses for all of them. Even if there’s a super-niche talent, I want to find a case where it’s valuable and talk about it.

Example: Elusive Dance, Concentrated Sigils

Simulations / Logs

Sometimes the numbers speak for themselves, and even the utility benefits of some talents are overshadowed by poor simming and logging.

Example: Special Delivery (before the latest buffs to its siblings)

My Experience with Vengeance and Gul’dan

For the most part in this expansion, I’ve been able to use my monk and dh interchangeably. Sure, there have been some situations where one was a bit stronger than the other, but I could cover those weaknesses with some adjustments in strategy or toolkit and it worked out fine. But when we hit heroic Gul’dan this week, that was the first time I ever swapped out one character for the other for progression.

Continue reading My Experience with Vengeance and Gul’dan

Microblog: Un-identity Talents

I wrote a while back about talents that I cling to because I just kinda like them. There are also talents I avoid, because I just kinda don’t.

Most of the talents I avoid are just fine balance-wise. Often, they’re even part of the cookie cutter spec most people take. And that’s great! I want them to be viable talents, for other people.

On my monk, I never take Black Ox Brew. It’s a favored talent of that tier for other people, but it doesn’t contribute to my ideal brewmaster, which is one that manages resources from second to second. I mean, I just really love the other two choices, and they’re how I want to play. (I also tend to avoid on-use talents if I can because I’m terrible/lazy.)

There’s also Blackout Combo, which is a fantastic talent that I don’t enjoy all that much. Many people do enjoy it, and I’m glad it exists. But again, it doesn’t contribute to my brewmaster ideal in the same way the other choices do. I want to manage my stagger to extremes! Either by making it really big, or purifying it really small. Stagger is my drug, and while Blackout Combo does effect it indirectly, it’s not quite the same level of excitement for me.

On my demon hunter, I hardly ever take Spirit Bomb. This historically was an unpopular talent, but even now that it’s buffed I still not be super excited about it because I don’t really feel a need for sustained leech on my DH.

I also rarely take Last Resort, another strong, popular talent! Because the way I play, I hardly ever make simple mistakes that can be recovered from with a heal to 30% and extra hp. No, the mistakes that kill me are catastrophic, usually when I fail to use Demon Spikes when I clearly should have, or if I stand in something, or mis-taunt. Last Resort doesn’t save me from those, so I pick one of the other choices instead.

I still use these talents from time to time, but I don’t enjoy them as much as the other choices.

A Brief History of Me – Stumbling into Progression

As we approach my 10 year anniversary of playing World of Warcraft, I thought I’d take a step back and do some reminiscing. Many years ago I wrote about how I started playing this game, from The Burning Crusade to the middle of Wrath. Here’s where that post ended:

Power Word Awesome was the last guild I ever felt a strong social connection with. I’m still Facebook friends with some of them. I met quite a few members at Blizzcon ’09. We went out for spaghetti and I discussed if I would race change to a troll druid when Cataclysm dropped. It was wonderful.
But sadly, real life events forced me to transfer. But that’s for another time…

Continue reading A Brief History of Me – Stumbling into Progression